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The workshop is to help identify conformity assessment gaps in areas which require support under the value chain in horticulture.
Experts drawn from Ghana and abroad will speak at the event aimed at supporting Ghana’s fruit and vegetable sector to conform to international standards, to make produce from Ghana attractive and accepted both locally and in international markets.
A statement issued in Accra on Monday by Ms Linda Agyemang, Project Communication Assistant, UNIDO, said the workshop would be on the theme: “Assessing Innovation Opportunities in Ghana’s Fruit and Vegetable Value Chains”.
It is expected to bring together growers, processors, exporters, extension officers, horticulture associations, standard institutions, international consultants and various actors in the fruits and vegetable sector.
The statement said UNIDO in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) had since 2007 been implementing a Trade Capacity Building Programme for Ghana, funded by The Swiss Confederation through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
It noted that the first phase of the programme ended in December 2011 with specific technical assistance provided to support the conformity assessment of institutions in the country in areas of standards, certification, accreditation, and testing.
“Beneficiaries of the first phase included Ghana Standards Authority which obtained accreditation for its System Certification Body, increased its capacity in Standard Development and upgraded its testing laboratories in pesticide residue, mycotoxin, textile and microbiology,” it added.
The statement said the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had improved its inspection methods for exported fruits and vegetables, upgraded its seed testing laboratory for the analysis of quality seeds and was an European Union competent authority in the field of horticulture.
Other beneficiaries of the UNIDO/MoTI Trade Capacity Building Project inlcuded, Food and Drugs Board and Ghana Export Promotion Authority, which has an established national traceability system that ensures that exported horticultural products can always be traced back to the farms.
It announced that the Second phase of the programme is underway to identify areas of intervention in a number of agricultural value chains related to commodities including fruits and vegetables, fish, wood and cocoa.
“The intervention will be geared to improve export quality, extend value addition and assure compliance with market requirements,” the statement said.